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English definition of “spoil”

spoil

verb uk   /spɔɪl/ (spoiled or spoilt, spoiled or spoilt) us  

spoil verb (DESTROY)

B1 [T] to destroy or reduce the pleasure, interest, or beauty of something: He tried not to let the bad news spoil his evening. The oil spill has spoiled the whole beautiful coastline. I haven't seen the film, so don't spoil it for me by telling me what happens. You'll spoil your appetite for dinner if you have a cake now. [I or T] When food spoils or is spoiled, it is no longer good enough to eat: The dessert will spoil if you don't keep it in the fridge. [T] UK specialized politics to mark a ballot paper so that it cannot be officially counted as a vote: Since she supported none of the candidates, she spoiled her ballot paper.

spoil verb (TREAT WELL)

[T] to treat someone very or too well, especially by being extremely generous: When I'm feeling miserable I go shopping and spoil myself - a couple of new dresses always make me feel better.

spoil verb (CHILD)

C1 [T] disapproving to allow a child to do or have everything that it wants to, usually so that it expects to get everything it wants and does not show respect to other people: Mr Harvey, unable for once to do exactly as he wanted, sulked just like a spoilt child.

spoil

noun uk   /spɔɪl/ us  

spoil noun (EARTH)

[U] earth, stones, etc. dug out from a hole in the ground: a spoil heap

spoil noun (PROFITS)

spoils [plural] formal goods, advantages, profits, etc. that you get by your actions or because of your position or situation: The spoils of victory/war included mounds of treasure and armour.
(Definition of spoil from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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